Donald Trump

Donald Trump Shows His Fighting Ways by Whining About Every Goddamn Thing

Promises boycott of Fox because of criticism.


Our thin-skinned, whiny zeitgeist
Credit: Gage Skidmore / photo on flickr

It probably says something about where our culture currently lives that Donald Trump's huffy, easily affronted demeanor is perceived by so many people to be personality traits of a "fighter." Should we blame it on our social-media-fed culture of constant, omnipresent outrage?

The Trump news of today and yesterday pivots right off this huffiness. Today, Trump has complained on Twitter that Fox News has treated him "very unfairly," and he will not appear on the network for the "forseeable future."

A look at Trump's Twitter feed shows him for the past two days complaining about how Fox talks about him and retweeting those who agree with him about how bad Fox is, complaining (again) about Megyn Kelly and also Bill O'Reilly, who apparently had some Trump critics on his show.

Since I'm not a Fox News viewer (I actually avoid watching cable news as much as possible; this isn't an issue I have specifically with Fox), I have no idea the extent of criticism he's facing. O'Reilly dismissed Trump's behavior as an "extension of his reality show" but nevertheless thinks that that Trump is good "for politics in America" and is forcing people to pay attention.

My prediction is that this is a silly short-term squabble that will end peacefully, and then in a speech Trump will brag about how everybody at Fox loves him and tells him all the time that he's the greatest candidate for president they've ever seen. The fourth debate, in November, will be on Fox Business News.

The conservative Super PAC Club for Growth, though, is experiencing the part of Trump's thin-skinned nature that comes with legal threats. Trump has threatened a "multi-million dollar lawsuit" against Club for Growth if they don't pull an attack ad that accuses him of being more like a Democrat and for supporting higher taxes. The threatening letter says Club for Growth defamed Trump with the claim that he's in favor of higher taxes using statements from him that were 15 years old.

Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post looked through the letter and provided some amusing annotations. Cillizza points out that less than a month ago a story in the New York Times noted Trump's calls for higher taxes on American businesses who put factories in other countries or use mergers to move their bases in other countries, as well as higher taxes on hedge fund managers. These may be tax increases that his populist, nativist base may readily swallow, but they are nevertheless tax increases.

There's little in the letter from Trump's lawyer that is to be treated seriously, but that doesn't mean he won't sue them anyway. And some will again see this as another example of his reputation as a "fighter," rather than the equivalent of some petty business owner trying to sue somebody who gave them a bad review on Yelp.